US sales of new single-family homes fall 0.9% in January

24 February 2012 16:17  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US sales of new single-family homes fell by 0.9% in January, the Commerce Department said on Friday, but last month’s rate of new one-family residence sales was 3.5% ahead of the January 2011 level.

The housing market is a key downstream consuming sector for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products that are used as components in homes or consumed in production of end-use items, such as roofing materials, insulation, plastic pipe, paints and fibres.

Construction of new single-family homes represents the core of the home building industry and the most active sector for chemicals and resins consumption.

In monthly report, the department said that sales of new single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000 units last month, down almost a full percentage point from the upwardly revised December rate of 324,000 houses.

However, the January 2012 rate was an improvement over the year earlier month’s total of about 310,000 units sold, also on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.

The department said that the inventory of newly built single-family homes available for sale at the end of January was 151,000 units, down slightly from the inventory of 154,000 recorded for December.

The January inventory represents a 5.6-month supply at current sales rates.

While that is still higher than the 3- to 4-month inventory that might be seen in normal economic times, the 5.6-month supply marks a 22% reduction compared with the inventory available in January 2011.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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